Is a high powered amp necessary today?

suparsonic

Member
Messages
3,007
Given the fact that some of the biggest ever songs in history have been recorded on low wattage amps? With the P.A.s' I see used in all of the venues' hauling a 100w head and 4x12 cab seem a little overkill. More and more live bands seem to be a low volume affair overall, more backing than tear your face off. Lastly the amount of low wattage amps being manufactured now, there is an abundance of choice. I my experience every time I have turned up with 100w it's been about 80w overkill.
 

Geetarpicker

Member
Messages
2,905
True, very few players need 100 watt rigs DB wise. That said I mostly gig with small 1x10 or 1x12 combos, however i sometimes bring out my 100w Marshall Superbsss and a 4x12. Even attenuated down to about 15-20 band friendly watts the Superbass still has that girth and depth that my smaller amps struggle at. Also it depends greatly what genre the gig is. Sometimes the big iron rig with EL34s or a 2x12 Twin reverb is simply still the best tool for the job, even in this day of quality PAs.
 
Last edited:
Messages
14,380
To answer the question in the OP, for me, YES.

For anyone else, I don't know.


FWIW, I own a 1w, 15w, 50w and 100w amp, as well as a Fryette Power Station, so I am not saying other wattages don;t have their place.


Why doesn't everyone just use what works best for them in a given application? Oh wait, it's TGP. Better see what everyone else thinks before making a move.
 

jimijimmyjeffy

Senior Member
Messages
12,633
No, but for my music a certain size is needed. 40 watts is barely enough clean headroom. So that's how much I have, which is exactly how much I need. I do really appreciate a certain amount of iron, and as big of a sound as possible. But even with 40 watts I have to be very careful not to anger people. Sometimes I fail. I have a 2-12 just to rebel against the idea of only one speaker. But I prefer a 4-12. It's a pretty good compromise. As it is, the constant threat I will be too loud is a source of stress. If all of a sudden volume Nazis disappeared from the planet, things would be different. But it's nice to not have to carry too much as well. A small box head and a compact 2-12 is very doable, especially with a dolly to wheel it around.
 

suparsonic

Member
Messages
3,007
To answer the question in the OP, for me, YES.

For anyone else, I don't know.


FWIW, I own a 1w, 15w, 50w and 100w amp, as well as a Fryette Power Station, so I am not saying other wattages don;t have their place.


Why doesn't everyone just use what works best for them in a given application? Oh wait, it's TGP. Better see what everyone else thinks before making a move.
I have a 1w and a 100w amp. It's hard to make use of 100w, for me anyway, if I use it live it's only ever on idle, nowhere near it's sweet spot.
 

suparsonic

Member
Messages
3,007
No, but for my music a certain size is needed. 40 watts is barely enough clean headroom. So that's how much I have, which is exactly how much I need. I do really appreciate a certain amount of iron, and as big of a sound as possible. But even with 40 watts I have to be very careful not to anger people. Sometimes I fail. I have a 2-12 just to rebel against the idea of only one speaker. But I prefer a 4-12. It's a pretty good compromise. As it is, the constant threat I will be too loud is a source of stress. If all of a sudden volume Nazis disappeared from the planet, things would be different. But it's nice to not have to carry too much as well. A small box head and a compact 2-12 is very doable, especially with a dolly to wheel it around.
40w seems like a sensible/useable sized rig, I admit a 1x12 can sound small on a stage.
 

chillybilly

Member
Messages
3,643
I found that much power disturbed people trying to use their phones. :(;)

But seriously...once upon a time most bands didn't have 16-channel mixers or if they did they were of the set-and-forget variety. Even the humblest act is aware of FOH mix considerations these days and a guitarist ripping the audience's heads off simply isn't necessary or desirable.
 

Herb Utsmelz

'Tis what 'tis
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,969
With as good as pedals are today, the only real reasons not to use big amps are portability and the purist take of playing "straight-in".
 




Trending Topics

Top